facebook linkedin twitter

Horn Seeking to Address Prescription Drug Prices in ‘Smart and Effective’ Ways

December 12, 2019 by Dan McCue
Rep. Kendra Horn. (Photo by Mary Horn Photography)

WASHINGTON – Rep. Kendra Horn believes it should come as no surprise to anyone that reining in runaway prescription drug prices has been a top priority of members of the 116th Congress.

“After all, they are something that impacts just about everyone at some point in their lives,” the freshman congresswoman said.

“We’ve got to keep working on this issue, and thankfully, a lot of members have been advancing their own efforts to address what I call ‘prescription drug fraud,'” she said.

“What we’re talking about is how to ensure that everyone in our community has access to affordable quality healthcare and to achieve that, we have to get to the root causes of the rising, astronomical cost of healthcare if we’re going to make lasting change.” 

One issue of particular concern to Horn is the high cost of insulin, which she says impacts about 350,000 Oklahomans.

The price of insulin has risen roughly 200% over the past decade, according to the American Diabetes Association, the Health Care Cost Institute, and others, and this is “way out of line with the income people are bringing home,” the congresswoman said. 

In an effort to address this, Horn authored H.R. 4649, The Capping Out-of-Pockets Costs for Seniors Act, which would create an out-of-pocket prescription drug cap at $2,000, for approximately 46 million patients who have Medicare Part D.

Seniors across the country can pay up to $5,100 on their medications, some of which they need daily. The cap will save them about $3,100, Horn said.

“Again, it’s not the answer to everything, but it is another of those steps in the right direction.” 

Horn stressed that various approaches are needed to solve the complex puzzle.

“I think it is always important to be mindful of that,” she said. “It’s almost too easy for us to say, ‘Let’s just put a cap on prices and that will solve everything.’

“I think we also need to look at a wide range of factors contributing to the costs of medications — and it’s not just the pharmaceutical companies. There are middlemen, pharmacy benefits managers and the like, and I think we need to look at where their negotiated savings are going.

“If they’re not going all the way to consumers, then that’s something we’re definitely going to have to address,” she said.

Because she believes “there are a lot of different people sticking their hands in the honey jar,” Horn co-sponsored H.R.1034 – Phair Pricing Act of 2019.

The legislation, which was reintroduced earlier this year by Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., aims to lower the cost of prescription medication by increasing transparency in the drug pricing process.

“We’re not putting this all on pharmaceutical companies, which would be an ineffective way of dealing with drug prices,” she said. “We recognize that some of the discounts negotiated by those standing between the pharmaceutical companies and the local pharmacies are not actually reaching consumers — and they’re paying the price, literally.”

Horn said when she talks to constituents in her district about these issues, the emotion she most often encounters is frustration.

“It’s really difficult for the people who need these life-saving medications to understand why they can’t afford them, even with Medicare Part D,” Horn stated. “That’s why it’s important for all of us in Congress to do our best to understand what the root causes of excessive prescription drug prices are and address them in smart and effective ways, not just in ways that sound good in a sound bite.”

Prescription Drugs

September 14, 2021
by Dan McCue
Moderates Seek Changes to Drug Pricing Proposal

A group of moderate Democrats led by Rep. Scott Peters sought on Tuesday to change the House debate on how... Read More

A group of moderate Democrats led by Rep. Scott Peters sought on Tuesday to change the House debate on how prescription drug prices are set in the U.S., arguing sweeping proposals put forward by progressives could threaten passage of the $3.5 trillion budget bill. The push... Read More

September 9, 2021
by Dan McCue
White House Unveils Plan to Cut Prescription-Drug Prices

WASHINGTON -- The Biden administration on Thursday offered the first detailed look at actions the White House may take in... Read More

WASHINGTON -- The Biden administration on Thursday offered the first detailed look at actions the White House may take in conjunction with congressional action to lower prescription drug prices. The 29-page plan, released through the Department of Health and Human Services, backs the intention of many... Read More

September 1, 2021
by Dan McCue
Kansas Health Officials Urging Residents Not to Take Livestock Drug for COVID

TOPEKA, Kan. - A drug most commonly given to horses and cows as an anti-parasite medicine should not be taken... Read More

TOPEKA, Kan. - A drug most commonly given to horses and cows as an anti-parasite medicine should not be taken by humans to treat or prevent COVID-19, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment said in a Wednesday advisory. Ivermectin was introduced as a veterinary drug... Read More

Judge Set to Rule on Purdue Pharma's Opioid Settlement Plan

A federal bankruptcy judge is expected to rule Wednesday on whether to accept a settlement between OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma,... Read More

A federal bankruptcy judge is expected to rule Wednesday on whether to accept a settlement between OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma, the states and thousands of local governments over an opioid crisis that has killed a half-million Americans over the last two decades. If Judge Robert Drain... Read More

August 23, 2021
by Dan McCue
Poll: NJ Voters Want a Fiscally Responsible Congress to Tackle True Health Care Concerns

Voters in New Jersey’s 5th Congressional District, a traditional swing or battleground district nestled against the southeast portion of New... Read More

Voters in New Jersey’s 5th Congressional District, a traditional swing or battleground district nestled against the southeast portion of New York State, are united in many key respects when it comes to spending and health care reforms, a recent survey found. Strong majorities want to see... Read More

July 23, 2021
by Tom Ramstack
Opioid Maker and Distributors Settle State Lawsuits for $26 Billion

A coalition of state attorneys general reached a $26 billion settlement with opioid maker Johnson & Johnson and three of... Read More

A coalition of state attorneys general reached a $26 billion settlement with opioid maker Johnson & Johnson and three of its distributors this week. They blame the companies for a half-million deaths in the United States from overdoses and addictions to powerful painkillers. "Our country's opioid... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top